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Lumbar Laminectomy and Fusion

Lumbar laminectomies can help relieve excess pressure along the spine’s nerves, and combining this procedure with a spinal fusion can help treat disc problems associated with back pain. When the lumbar region is compressed due to nerve damage, herniated discs, and damage to the spinal column, laminectomies can help remove the layers of bone, affecting your back stability and provide relief from the pressure exerted, and help heal the spine back to health.

shutterstock 1439234252 showing the concept of Lumbar Laminectomy and Fusion

Why Combine a Laminectomy with a Fusion?

Spine surgery continues to be a challenging area for treatment due to the complexities of its anatomy; stress placed along the back through constant use and age can cause conditions such as spinal stenosis, disc degeneration, and nerve compression to occur. As these conditions increase in severity, the space for nerves and disc function often decreases, causing even more compression and pain. Laminectomies have been designed to remove small layers of bone to provide space for the nerves and discs to expand and allow devices such as bone grafts to fuse the spine for stability.

But why would a person need both? Spinal fusions can help take the pressure off the spine column, specifically when conservative treatments such as braces and physical therapy do not improve the spine’s shape and function. Combining both a laminectomy with a fusion can help reinforce the fusion process and provide a higher success rate for patients that suffer from conditions such as:

  • Scoliosis
  • Spondylolisthesis
  • Spinal Weakness
  • Spinal Stenosis
  • Lower Back Pain

These conditions often require extensive treatments that can relieve pressure from compressed nerves. Laminectomies remove excess layers of bone from the affected area to give the nerve space to function properly and provide room for a spinal fusion to occur. Surgeons who perform this treatment combine it with other surgical techniques, including:

  • Lumbar discectomies
  • Minimally invasive discectomies
  • Lateral lumbar interbody fusions
  • Anterior lumbar interbody fusions
  • Posterior lumbar interbody fusions

How is Lumbar Laminectomy and Fusion Performed? 

To best perform a lumbar laminectomy and fusion, a surgeon would perform the following steps:

  • The patient will be administered general anesthesia before the procedure. Incisions will be made along the midline of the lower back.
  • Using a refractor, muscles, tendons, and ligaments will be moved aside to access the vertebrae site.
  •  During the laminectomy part of the procedure, a thin layer of the vertebrae extending furthest out from the spine will be removed, along with any bone spurs. This removal will provide space for nerves along the spine to have further room for the fusion.
  • Any damaged lamina along the spine will then be removed to pressure the nerves and nerve roots. Any fragments present along the spine will also be removed.
  • During the surgery’s fusion section, the surgeon will place bone grafting material along the spine to encourage fusion and place orthopedic devices such as rods and pins to secure the bone graft in place.
  • Once the bone graft is placed securely, the soft tissues and muscles will be put back in place, and the incisions will be closed.

If you believe this procedure can provide the relief you need, then reach out to Dr. John Czerwein in 53 Saddle Rowe Lane, North Scituate, RI today.

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